Stimulus Qualification: Here’s How to Get the Child Tax Credit if You Had a Child in 2021

A newborn baby with family
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The Child Tax Credit for 2021 was extended as part of the American Rescue Plan stimulus relief bill based on 2019 and 2020 tax returns. This means that your status in 2019 or 2020 determines the benefit you are receiving today for the advance portion of the child tax credit — but what if you just recently had a baby in 2021?

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The good news is you will receive the full portion of the CTC even if you have a child in 2021 based on your income and number of eligible dependents. Those who meet the income thresholds of $75,000 and under filing single or $150,000 filing jointly will receive the full $3,600 benefit for each child aged 6 and under. Couples filing jointly making under $440,000 will still be able to receive a reduced amount.

The IRS has set up online portals to help you update your status and information — in this case, a change in the number of dependents — in order to qualify. The main caveat is that you will miss out on the monthly payments that started in July.

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Although it is too late for October’s payment, if you recently gave birth and want to register, there might still be time for the November payment. You will need to provide bank account information for the direct deposit of the payment and include all new dependents.

If you are due soon, say December, you will simply receive the full amount of the benefit during next year at tax time. The CTC is available for all parents who meet the income threshold requirements, regardless of how little income you make. The benefit is fully refundable, meaning even if you do not ordinarily file taxes or make zero income, you still qualify for the payment.

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The most crucial part of ensuring you receive your payment in 2021 if you recently had or will have a child is to file your taxes as early as possible and/or register online through the IRS.

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Last updated: October 7, 2021

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About the Author

Georgina Tzanetos is a former financial advisor who studied post-industrial capitalist structures at New York University. She has eight years of experience with concentrations in asset management, portfolio management, private client banking, and investment research. Georgina has written for Investopedia and WallStreetMojo. 
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